How to manage a responsible in-store finance offer

  • News
  • October 12, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
How to manage a responsible in-store finance offer

In-store finance can be a great source of business-boosting cash and a point of contact to improve customer loyalty, but serious consequences await those who don’t comply with regulations. We consider what retailers need to know about store finance.

The benefits to a retailer in offering a finance programme are numerous, says Joel Jeevaratnam, national sales director for Gem powered by Latitude. Gem powered by Latitude works with a number of prominent New Zealand retailers such as Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and Freedom to offer store finance. 

A finance programme can act as the “catalyst” to a sale by offering the customer another way to pay, Jeevaratnam says: “Is there a portion of your product line that’s not shifting due to cost?”

Customers often enter a store with a budget in mind that’s based on their savings or the limit on their credit card, having done online research and developed a preconceived idea of what they’re going to buy. For example, Jeevaratnam says, a customer wanting to upgrade their kitchen appliances may potentially only walk away with a microwave oven, but dream of one day buying a new fridge and oven as well.

 If the retailer can offer that customer an attractive deal using in-store finance, Jeevaratnam says, the customer may agree to “realise their dream” right there and then, instead of saving up over six months for the additional items.

However, there’s a fine line between upselling and pressuring the customer into overcommitting, and Jeevaratnam says it’s important that the customer be made aware of their obligations. Gem powered by Latitude carries out credit checks and risk assessments to be certain loans are appropriate and relevant for the customer.

Finance programmes also represent a way for the retailer to forge a deeper connection with the customer and create greater loyalty.

“Instead of that sale being quite transactional, finance provides an opportunity for it to be more personalised,” Jeevaratnam says. “If we don’t know much about a business, the sale will be transactional and cost-driven, but if we know more, [it’s individual.]”

Southland department store chain H&J Smith runs its H&J Smith Charge Card in-house, and H&J Smith managing director Jason Smith says it represents a “special relationship” between the customer and the store. The company keeps the channels of communication open with its cardholders, inviting them to exclusive events seven times per year.

These relationships are so long-term and significant, Smith says, that in many cases they’re multi-generational.

“We look to engage the customer as early as possible to ensure we treat them appropriately in-store, as they frequent our stores often, and we see them as an essential part of our ‘raving fans’ – something every retail business needs to thrive.”

In his time in the market, Jeevaratnam says he’s seen a shift in perceptions around in-store finance programmes. It used to be that in-store finance was considered to be a service primarily used by shoppers who would have struggled to pay for their items traditionally, but now, he says interest-free loans mean the programmes are used by shoppers of all levels of financial capability to manage their cashflow in much the same way a business would. 

“Customers are very savvy these days.”

A good finance provider should act in partnership with the vendor, says Jeevaratnam. It should express this approach by providing adequate support and training so that the retailer can discharge their responsible lending obligations on behalf of the lender. 

Retailers should do due diligence on any prospective finance provider, says Jeevaratnam, but Gem powered by Latitude itself undertakes a rigorous and thorough due diligence on new merchants. This can include looking at their products, financial considerations and management, along with other relevant matters to ensure the company is comfortable that the merchant is able to offer its products in a way that’s compliant with the law.

At Gem powered by Latitude, the finance team provides its merchants with full training for all staff, including annual refreshers, and provides onboarding for each new staff member. It also offers a merchant support team, an online merchant portal with resources and business development managers on hand.

Five Days of Finance is sponsored by Gem powered by Latitude.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

  • Design
  • January 23, 2020
  • Findlay Buchanan
Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

In New Zealand, we discard 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year, an absurd amount for a small, agrarian, country at the bottom of the earth. Partly, the problem lies in our recycling systems – only a meager 28 percent of it is recycled. But, new radical solutions are being developed, we’ve already transformed water bottles into asphalt, plastic bags into clothes, and roofing into pavements. Plus, a company in the states, Joachim’s firm, plans to build a 53-story tower made with the waste, a vision for tall buildings and skyscrapers that could be made of plastic.

Read more

2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

  • News
  • January 22, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

In the final installation of our series looking at retail in seven New Zealand regions, we're examining Dargaville.

Read more

Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • The Register team
Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

Ecommerce retailer Container Door has fallen afoul of the Commerce Commission after supplying pedal bicycles which did not meet mandatory product safety standards.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

2020 vision
What does the next decade have in store ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

As part of a series looking at seven regional centres to consider what regional retail looks like this year, we're considering Cambridge.

Read more

Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

  • Who's Where
  • January 21, 2020
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

Countdown has announced Steve Mills as the new general manager of merchandise.

Read more

Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

  • News
  • January 20, 2020
  • The Register team
Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

Retail NZ is launching a new Leading Retailers’ Group for large and significant retailers. With its first meeting to be held in late February, the group will provide a safe outlet for senior retailers to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit